A sentence from this letter from Paul Morphy to Fiske confuses me.

It is, to be sure, a most exhilarating sport, but it is only a sport; and it is not to be wondered at that such as have been passionately addicted to the charming pastime should one day ask themselves whether sober reason does not advise its utter dereliction.

I understand the rest of the letter, but that bolded part completely melted my brain, particularly the bit between 'such as' and 'have been'. I feel like there's a missing noun there.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage, jozen. "Such" refers to those who have been passionately addicted. This is not bad English, but is a bit old fashioned. It might be re-written: "and it is not to be wondered that those who have been".
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


This is using "such" as a pronoun.

"Such as have been" would appear in more modern text as "people who have been", or "some of those who have been".

Does this make it clearer?

  • Ahhhh that explains it.
    – jozen
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 23:46
  • another important point is the pause in speech to be made between 'at' and 'that', which makes it clear that 'that' is not a pronoun here, but a conjunction, don't you think?
    – user58319
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 0:14

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